Ghana has won the 2014 International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Summit of the Information Society (WSIS) Award in Rural Telephony.
The award is in recognition of Ghana?s contribution to the development of Rural Telephony in bridging the gap between the rural communities and the urban centres.
The summit provides an opportunity for nations to rededicate their commitment to the WSIS documents signed in 2003 by their Heads of State.
It is also to provide an inclusive and sustainable information society for the attainment of the country?s socio-economic development goals.
A statement signed by Mr Steve Nii Nai Mensah, Public Relations Officer of Ministry of Communication and copied to the Ghana News Agency said the ward was received by Dr Edward Kofi Omane Boamah, Minister of Communication at the on-going World Summit of the Information Society High-Level Segment in Geneva, Switzerland.
He said: ?We are humbled by the ITU?s WSIS Project Prize 2014 Award to Ghana in Rural Telephony. It is a manifestation of what a country can achieve when successive governments ensure continuity in development. We still have hurdles to surmount.?
The statement said Dr Omane Boamah pledged Ghana?s commitment to the Geneva Plan of Action and the Principles for building an inclusive Information Society.
He also reiterates Ghana?s regards to the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society as a valuable reaffirmation of the global commitment for bridging the digital divide, on Internet governance and related issues.
It said Dr Omane Boamah made the pledged when he addressed the High-level Segment of the WSIS in Geneva, Sweden.
He said Ghana?s Ministry of Communications had partner stakeholders in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector including the Private Sector and Industry, Regulators, Academia, Traditional Authorities, Women?s Organisations, Political Parties, Civil Society, Legislators, Judiciary, NGOs and Development Partners to establish consensus on ICT roadmap.
It said after a nationwide consultation exercise with the active participation of the stakeholders, a national ICT for Accelerated Development Policy was developed with 14 focused areas that addressed specific targets of the WSIS Plan of Action.
?In May 2011, the Policy was reviewed to include four new thematic areas, namely, Broadband Policy, Cyber security Policy, Geo-Information Policy, and ICT, the Environment and Climate Change Policy.
The statement said Ghana is currently served by five submarine cables: SAT-3; MainOne; Glo-1; and WACS Cables supplying about 7.16 Terabits capacity and that last year, the Africa Coast to Europe submarine cable system was inaugurated in Accra, bringing on-board additional 5.1 Terabits, to increase the overall submarine cable capacity to 12.3 Terabits.
It said a national terrestrial optic fibre network is being built to cover all the districts and constituency in Ghana.
It said in June 2012, Ghana successfully connected its terrestrial optic fibre with its neighbouring sister countries of Burkina Faso and Togo and also established a point of presence on the western border, preparing to directly connect with La Cote d?Ivoire, in addition to the submarine link.
?A 780-kilometre optic fibre ICT backbone infrastructure is being built on Ghana?s Eastern Corridor to provide broadband infrastructure to over 120 towns and communities along the route.
The project will be connected to the existing optic fibre network.
?Complementing the optic fibre infrastructure with support from the private sector, a Long Term Evolution technology is being deployed to enable the deployment of advanced ICT Applications in education, health, commerce, open government and other business opportunities.?
The statement said Ghana with a national population of 24.5 million, mobile telephone and payphone subscription within 10 years increased by 200 per cent while Internet usage is growing steadily with increased capacity for the deployment of 4th Generation Applications.
It said in partnership with the internet community, Government Ghana is supporting the development of critical internet infrastructure by arranging for the supply of additional switches for Internet Exchange Points.
The statement said Ghana?s Ministry of Communications through the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications has been undertaking universal access projects and programmes to support the delivery of basic ICT services to the underserved and un-served areas of the country.
It said Government has ensured that all Regional Administrative Offices and District Assembly Offices are connected with broadband and provided with Tele-Presence equipment for the effective implementation of the e-Government programme for multi-media interaction with the Office of the President.
?Supporting the programme is the establishment of a National Primary Data Centre along with Secondary Data Centres and Recovery sites, which all 23 Ministries and about 75 other agencies have been connected to the Network and Data Centre.? GNA